Ferrari claim front row in Russia; first since 2008

It’s been a long wait and it may have taken a public criticism of Kimi Raikkonen from Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne but the Scuderia have locked out the front row for the Russian Grand Prix for the first time since 2008 denying Mercedes their 100% record in Sochi.

Ferrari looked dominant in all three practice sessions and I had even ascribed Sochi’s cooler temperatures and smoother track surface as advantage Mercedes but the weekend wasn’t shaping in to that scenario.

Come qualifying, Mercedes did seem to turn the wick up and ran a strong Q2 session but it was Q3 that saw a resurgent Ferrari find the time with Kimi Raikkonen leading provisional pole on their first runs.

On the final runs of the session, Raikkonen ran wide on the final turn allowing teammate Sebastian Vettel to nip pole from him and lead a Ferrari 1, 2 locking out the front row for Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix. Valtteri Bottas was third while Lewis Hamilton was adrift in fourth.

1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m33.194s
2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 0.059s
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 0.095s
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 0.573s
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1.711s
6 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1.916s
7 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1.967s
8 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 2.091s
9 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 2.143s
10 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 2.236s
11 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 2.770s
12 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 2.774s
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 2.823s
14 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 2.754s
15 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 3.466s
16 Jolyon Palmer Renault 3.268s
17 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 4.138s
18 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 4.313s
19 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 4.426s
20 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 3.876s
Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia.
Saturday 29 April 2017.
World Copyright: Steven Tee/LAT Images
ref: Digital Image _O3I0782